QUESTION: A company recently tried to sell me a "salt-free" Water Softener that softens by magnets. Do these work? Does anyone have any scientific proof of this system?

ANSWER: I believe your perception of the efficacy of non-chemical water softeners is correct. The manufacturers of these devices seem to use only testimonial and questionable "scientific proof" without credible third-party test results. Both NSF and the Water Quality Association have tried to develop a comprehensive test protocol with the aide of the leading manufacturers of these devices, but none are willing to cooperate enough to see it through to completion. My experience with magnets and other non-conventional softening systems is that the only thing that is being reduced is the money from the customer's wallet.

F.Y.I.... Be wary of "trends" and non-conventional softening systems.